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Start earlier than mid June. They won’t be schooled upon in the shallows mid April but with the numbers of fish, they should be plenty active especially after a few warm spring days. The fish were 9-10 inches by late season last year so they may not be huge but 15-20 filleted and fried up will feed a small family nicely. Keep these fish. I get the feeling there may be too many right now and thinning out the population may improve the average size going forward. I will fish Brownlee and Shasta for larger but fewer crappies. Brownlee disappointed last year but bluegills kicked in later to save the season. These are longer trips for most people but fish in 14 inch class are the target. The crappies at Brownlee averaged 12 inches for me but were very thick bodied. This reservoir can be lights out late May or a long, disappointing drive. Target other panfish or cats if crappie have lockjaw. Dicey weather can shut fishing off so be flexible and trust the weatherman (what?)when planning a trip.
 

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Were a couple months away from our annual come out of hibernation Crappie fishing trip, so my question is are the dumb easy to catch in shallower water Crappie available by late April? or early May?
 

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Crappies are always easiest to catch in late Spring when schooled in shallow water spawning or just prespawn. What water body are you referring to? About 60 degree water is key and that can vary from place to place. If you want to be safe, visit Brownlee late May or Shasta late April. These are a fickled species however and prepare to change tactics when chasing them. Brownlee in particular can be slow drifting in 30 ft. of water off points one year or bobbers with a jig in four feet of water on the same date in different years. Move a lot, experiment and enjoy the challenge.
 

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Crappies are always easiest to catch in late Spring when schooled in shallow water spawning or just prespawn. What water body are you referring to? About 60 degree water is key and that can vary from place to place. If you want to be safe, visit Brownlee late May or Shasta late April. These are a fickled species however and prepare to change tactics when chasing them. Brownlee in particular can be slow drifting in 30 ft. of water off points one year or bobbers with a jig in four feet of water on the same date in different years. Move a lot, experiment and enjoy the challenge.
Prineville, I know all about Brownlee, & Owyhee when mid to late April the bite turns on, certainly by early May, but Prineville being at a higher elevation I would think the best Crappie bite would be a little later, our window is mid April to the first week in May before Halibut season starts.
 

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I agree, it's just a general blanket theory on fishing/crappie... and doesn't really relate to Prineville. Not saying it doesn't work, or that it isn't a good starting point; it just seems these last couple years the crappie haven't read the books. I've caught them on everything from 1/64oz crappie tubes, to 5" jerkbaits. Everywhere from brush on the banks to suspended in the middle of the reservoir.
OH Yeah?
Well, you're right.
It is just a general crappie guide. And it's actually a closer fit for the central CA coastal lake, San Antonio, where I used to live.
I'd really like to supply information about Prineville and it's shad population and many more things about the lake, but I've yet to fish it although it is on my list.
I just share that tutorial for those interested in crappie fishing that have little to no experience at it. It does however give a few interesting points that can be applied to almost any water.
One thing I didn't include about crappie is that they have always seemed to me to live a cyclical pattern based on a seven year cycle.
The really great fishing years are usually followed by a couple years of fewer fish, I believe due to the depletion of forage fish during the boom years, then a couple years of building the numbers and size up to the boom again.
Now I ain't a ichthyologist. I'm just an old perch jerker. But I share what my years and many, many days on the water have taught me. I only hope others can use some of it.
 

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I'd really like to supply information about Prineville and it's shad population and many more things about the lake, but I've yet to fish it although it is on my list.
I don't think any Oregon lakes have gizzard or threadfin shad. In the East I know they are an important food source for lake bass, but if you are trying to set up on that pattern in the PNW you will be disappointed.

Many of the PNW rivers have runs of American shad and the juvenile fall migration does feed many bass and pikeminnow.
 

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Were a couple months away from our annual come out of hibernation Crappie fishing trip, so my question is are the dumb easy to catch in shallower water Crappie available by late April? or early May?
Adrenaline, I haven't been in several years but we always made a trip over in late may and could catch as many as you wanted to clean. The size was somewhat small back then and from what I read it hasn't changed much. We caught them on small yellow jigs and a little ultra light pole. The kids had a ball.. good luck
Randy
 

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Adrenaline, I haven't been in several years but we always made a trip over in late may and could catch as many as you wanted to clean. The size was somewhat small back then and from what I read it hasn't changed much. We caught them on small yellow jigs and a little ultra light pole. The kids had a ball.. good luck
Randy
Thanks, yeah I hear Crappie are small in Prineville, but sounds like they are so abundant they are starving each other out, & could use our help thinning out the population so they can grow bigger, besides Brownlee, & Owyhee have not put out bigger Crappie lately either, & Prineville is much closer.
 

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I hit owyhee last fall and the crappie were only slightly larger (~1") than what we were getting at Prineville in Oct. Way more plentiful in Prineville too. When the weather shapes up a bit I will take the boys out and see what we can find. Hopefully we start warming up a bit in March. So far Feb has been the consistent coldest month we have had in a couple years over here, since the bad winter of 16-17.
 

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Enough water to launch now at Powder Cove. 47 degrees and murky water. Many fish marked but bite was slow. Enough for dinner but disappointing size averaging nine inches. I think they shrunk over the winter. No pressure. Docks and floating toilets not in yet. The reef about 400 yards off the mouth of Bear Creek arm is barely out of water and unmarked by buoy, be careful there.
 

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Got a new to me boat all ready when the water clear's a bit.
 

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Enough water to launch now at Powder Cove. 47 degrees and murky water. Many fish marked but bite was slow. Enough for dinner but disappointing size averaging nine inches. I think they shrunk over the winter. No pressure. Docks and floating toilets not in yet. The reef about 400 yards off the mouth of Bear Creek arm is barely out of water and unmarked by buoy, be careful there.

Is camping still allowed in Bear cr. cove?
 

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folks boat into camping spots at several locations on the lake. Ive always noticed there are not very many flat areas in these "camps". But plenty of folks give it a go. There is day use parking area at the head of bear creek arm. Gate opens in April to allow access, but pretty sure camping isn't allowed and it is a rather small unimproved parking area.
 

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folks boat into camping spots at several locations on the lake. Ive always noticed there are not very many flat areas in these "camps". But plenty of folks give it a go. There is day use parking area at the head of bear creek arm. Gate opens in April to allow access, but pretty sure camping isn't allowed and it is a rather small unimproved parking area.
Thanks, It's been a few decades since I've been there, last time there we drove in, altho not flat we set up a couple tents right along the shore, stayed a couple nights, wasn't sure if camping was allowed back than, but didn't see any no camping signs, & nobody told us to leave, don't remember a day use parking area back than either, alot can change in 30 years.
 

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Enough water to launch now at Powder Cove. 47 degrees and murky water. Many fish marked but bite was slow. Enough for dinner but disappointing size averaging nine inches. I think they shrunk over the winter. No pressure. Docks and floating toilets not in yet. The reef about 400 yards off the mouth of Bear Creek arm is barely out of water and unmarked by buoy, be careful there.
Launched at Powder house today, both lanes open and no dock (although the dock does have new bumpers). Same water report as Puckfisher- 47ish with 1-3 ft visibility. Just enough water to cross the island, but i wouldn/t attempt it on plane just yet. The Bear Creek reef was submerged BARELY 3ft, with the shallowest spot quite a distance from the buoys (seemingly in the middle of the lake) and looking to cause carnage.
 

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Launched from the state park yesterday. Jasper Point was still closed. Went up as far as there was current in the lake. River is coming in like gangbusters. Marked fish 8-15 feet. The willows in the upper end are flooding up.



Wasn't able to connect on crappie, Managed some bullhead.
 
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